Price paid: $ 400
Sound — 7
Being a metal player the guitar fit my style pretty well. I bought this guitar to replace my first guitar (Peavey Predator) back in 1998. It blew that guitar out of the water (not hard). But like most people will say, the pickups are pretty bad, they need to be replaced. The main amp I used with this guitar as factory stock was a Marshall Valvestate VS150. For amount of money I had at the time, this guitar really sounded great for the money. I now use a Marshall JCM2000 DSL100, but the guitar has changed a lot since then (see my overall impression comments).
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar and I have been through a lot in the last 11 years. Pickups: After owning the guitar for about 7 years I replaced the crap stock pickups with EMG an 81 and 85, a metal Standard (got rid of the middle pickup). Those pickups totally brought the guitar to life. A few months ago I replaced the EMGs with DiMarzios (CrunchLab in the bridge, Liquifire in the neck). Guitar still sounds awesome. Neck: The neck has been the biggest issue with this guitar. Like I said before, I was told it was bowed between the 1st and 3rd frets. I still have that neck (not on the guitar anymore) but I can't see any problems. I ended up replacing the original neck with a cheap chinese knock off then replaced it again with a bound Jackson neck (can't remember where it came off of). In any case, it is still one of two main guitars and it completely kicks arse!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is one heck of a reliable guitar for the most part. I still gig with it all the time. It stays in tune and the FR trem is holding up great. My only gripe is with the neck. After owning this guitar for 2 years or so I took it to a guitar tech and was told the neck was bowed between the 1st and 3rd frets and may not be fixable. Would I gig without a backup? Maybe. I hate not having a backup but I have never broken a string on this guitar...seriously.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought the guitar 11 years ago, but if I can remember correctly, the guitar was setup great, at least for what I was used to. 11 years later the guitar is still playing great but like I said has changed a lot. The hardware hasn't changed much, but it's still holding great. The only thing I think I've had to replace was a broken saddle block screw.
Features — 7
- Solid, flat top, dinky style, alder body with dark blue finish - 24 fret, unbound, thin, maple neck with compound radius rosewood fretboard, offset Dot inlays and locking nut - Floyd Rose licensed trem - H-S-H passive Jackson pickups with 1 volume & 1 tone control and 5-way pickup selector - Jackson locking tuners - Came with a hardshell case